Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


The Chippewa Valley's Coolest Educators

We asked “Who are the best teachers in the Chippewa Valley?”

V1 Staff

The class could be Biology 101: Metaphysical Forms of Upper-Glacial Drift (whatever that would be?), and a superb teacher could somehow make it life-altering, earth-shattering stuff. These are the educators that everyone in a school needs to know so they can take a class with them before they graduate. And that’s exactly what we sought to do when we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers, “Who are the best teachers in the Chippewa Valley?” More than 60 responded, and here are the results.

Blake Westerlund
UWEC English professor
RateMyProfessor score: 4.9 out of 5

Barbara Kernan
UWEC women’s studies professor
RateMyProfessor score: 4.8 out of 5

Michael “Chico” Labarbera
North High School Spanish teacher
“The man taught me more about Spanish in a year than I thought possible. Also spent an insane amount of time outside of school hours in the classroom to help kids (often arrived at 5am and left at 10pm).” - @kustjt
RateMyProfessor score: 3.9 out of 5

Stacy Thompson
UWEC English/film studies/
critical theory professor
“He has a capacity for taking complicated theoretical and philosophical subjects and breaking them down in distinctly unique ways. He’ll play clips of The Big Lebowski to explain post modernism. Do I need to say more? He knows the official names of probably every beard style that exists and has no problem talking extensively about them. You will never have another teacher like him, and your college education is incomplete without him.” – Tyler Griggs
RateMyProfessor score: 4.5 out of 5

Karla Svedarsy
CVTC biology
RateMyProfessor score: 4.8 out of 5

Bob Barth
UWEC anthropology/
archaeology professor
“Besides having a love of all things anthro that manifests itself in frenetic bursts of awesome, he quotes James Brown and loves 70’s action movies. ‘Nuff said.” – Ian Jacoby
RateMyProfessor score: 4.4 out of 5

Thomas Kemp
UWEC economics professor
“One of the most thought-provoking educators I’ve ever had!” – Matt Sias
RateMyProfessor score: 4.2 out of 5

Top Valley Educators
on RateMyProfessors & RateMyTeachers:
   Branden Atherton (Chi High music)
   Donald Baughman (Stout psych)
   Bryan Beamer (Stout engineering)
   Derick Black (DeLong English)
   Michael Collins (UWEC kinesiology)
   Corey Davis (Menomonie High history)
   Judy Fadness (UWEC math)
   Jean Foley (Stout math)
   Halcyon Foster (UWEC math)
   Beth Franklin (Memorial)
   Erik Hendrickson (UWEC physics/astronomy)
   Jodi Hunter (Chippewa Middle math)
   Matt Kulasiewicz (South Middle social studies)
   Mr. Licht (Chi High languages)
   Beto Marten (Chippewa Middle headmaster)
   Shawn McMahon (Stout physical education)
   Ric Messner (CVTC marketing)
   Gindy Neidermyer (Stout accounting)
   Brian Paral (North art)
   Russel Peloquin (UWEC kinesiology)
   Cathy Reitz (DeLong music)
   Ken Ripp (Memorial social studies)
   Mitra Sadeghpour (UWEC music)
   Nate Schoch (South Middle English)
   Arnie Swobada (McDonell High substitute)
   Hollace Teuber (Stout)
   Robb Virgin (South Middle social studies)

Also receiving votes were
Kathy Bareis (DeLong Middle School), Edward Beach (UWEC), Jan Bowe (Chi High), Myron Bucholz (Memorial High), Charlene Burns (UWEC), Melissa Bushendorf (Memorial High), Howard Campbell (Regis High), Marjorie Craemer (North High), Andrew Fisher (North High), Jeanie Geurink (UWEC), Sean Hartnett (UWEC), Erik Hendrickson (UWEC), Ron Keys (CVTC), Peggy Kincaid (CVTC), William Kryshak (Stout), Michael Lawler (Stout), David Licht (Chi High), Lauren Likkel (UWEC), Paul Lokken (Stout), Becky Mattson (Robbins Elementary), William Murphy (Stout), Resecca Neville (Memorial), Dick Nimke (UWEC), Bob Nowlan (UWEC), Abby Oleson (Lakeshore Elementary), Joel Pace (UWEC), Andy Patrie (North High), Anothony Reiter (McDonell High), Steve Roesler (McDonell High), Roger Selin (UWEC), Jason Splichal (South Middle School), Deb Stuckert (Pederson Elementary), Ken Szymanski (South Middle), Paul Thomas (UWEC), Virginia Welle (Chi High), Thao Yang (UWEC), Won Yang (UWEC).

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.